Thank you EPA & Cal EPA…

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PacCoastFwy923

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There’s been many disparaging things said about the EPA, California EPA, and CARB in various threads in this forum, without much in the way of defense.

I was standing with my two sons watching our local Independence Day parade this summer. A big draw of the parade every year is the classic cars. It’s a small parade, and there are maybe two dozen examples representing the span of a century of our automotive history. But what struck me this year was the sweet smell of the pure exhaust, and it brought back memories… and the slightest headache.

I’m a kid of the 1970s, and growing up in Oakland, I remember the hazy brown summertime smog that hung over everything, everywhere. It wasn’t just the cars, it was the smokestacks down by the estuary, and the airplanes trailing black strings of exhaust, the big ships at port and the locomotives and semis that pulled their loads out of town.

I remember talk of acid rain, of the Statue of Liberty being rebuilt from the inside out partly in response to the damage caused by it, of stone monuments and graveyard markers whose details were etched away, and news stories of dead forests, fish, and lakes.

When I began flying small planes in the early 90s, the smog was still prevalent, and a hindrance to navigation (and those rag tag old Cessnas I was flying were definitely contributing to the problem). I was also becoming socially aware of the prevalence of asthma, heart disease and lead poisoning among residents in close proximity to primary transit corridors, in the direct path of fallout from soot spewing big rigs – an unfortunate consequence of being in the wrong economic strata.

I just read an article this weekend describing new theories about the cause of the Great London Smog of 1954, that killed anywhere from 3,000 to 12,000 residents prematurely (in 1954!!!), and parallels to modern day filthy air quality in China’s big cities. But it’s a reminder of how far we (locally) have come in my 40+ years.

Our air quality is a clear as ever. Ships at the port shut down and are connected to new shore power connections. A soot spewing big rig actually stands out now on the freeway, because the others operate so cleanly – some due to new, strict mandates at the port, where they can idle for hours. Standing on the side of a busy, traffic clogged thoroughfare isn’t necessarily pleasant, but it’s also not noxious. Modern airplane engines are vastly cleaner (and quieter) than old, and it’s readily apparent to the eyes, ears, and nose whenever a 727 or early generation biz jet launches. Airlines are even replacing their beastly pushback tugs with emissions-free battery powered units. Acid rain? I don’t know… I definitely don’t hear about it like I used to.

How much NOx is too much? I don’t have the expertise to make that defense. The current gen dieselgate TDIs are cleaner than the (still legal) generation before them (such as our ’06 Jetta). But clearly, the new, tight NOx standards are achievable by others, so why defend VW and give them a pass? For convenience? For affordability? Because only a small number of lower income older folks with emphysema will die just a few weeks / months / years sooner? I mean, yeah, leaving the dieselgate TDIs on the road probably would have just been the smallest drop in the NOx bucket. But this court decision sure did send a crystal clear message that traveled around the world.

Is it expensive to run an industrialized society cleanly? Yep. But it’s expensive to cause people to get sick an die young, too.

So it seemed fitting at that Independence Day parade this past summer, bringing up the end of the parade of exhaust-spewing cars, were the current generation of electrics that so many of the young kids oohed and aahed over (though maybe because of their flapping gull wing doors), and as they passed, the course marshals stood back, and for a short time, the cars were gone and the streets were open to the people.

So thanks EPA, Cal EPA and CARB. I think you’ve done some good.
 

BuyMeBackSoon

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100% agreement. Although they do make mistakes and those are what the haters latch onto. If we didn't have these agencies we would be walking around with masks on like they do in many Chinese cities.
 

rbreding

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Go Lex Luther!!!! Nuke that san andreas fault and make Arizona have some coastline.


:)
 

PacCoastFwy923

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Go Lex Luther!!!! Nuke that san andreas fault and make Arizona have some coastline.
Ha! Phoenix is ranked with some of the dirtiest air in the nation -- I'm sure they'd enjoy a nice ocean breeze. :)
 

Salsaman06

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I was contemplating this the other day. I am not a fan of government intrusion into my life, and I certainly have great disdain for people in government who use the job and power departments like the EPA have to push a political agenda. But in spite of that, the EPA in particular has managed to make good on some of it's core principles to the benefit of all citizens. And over the years CARB, from my non-Californian perspective, has helped to push the envelope of tighter motor vehicle emissions control for the benefit of the entire nation not just California.

I grew up in the South and, apart from a brief exposure to the steel mills in Birmingham in the late 60's, lived in a smog-free environment. It wasn't until I graduated from college and went to work full time that I was exposed to the nasty smog of L.A. But L.A. was NOTHING compared to Seoul, South Korea. I lived there in the early 90's. Was one of the worst polluted cities in the world (much of it due to diesel) - and I would soon learn while in Asia that the world's dirtiest air could be found in Asian cities. During my time in Seoul in the 90's, the air was so bad that the World Health Organization likened it to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. I had constant upper respiratory issues that didn't clear up until I came back to the states. Visibility was often around 1/2 to 3/4 mile. Nothing ever compared to that in the U.S. and the EPA has been there to try to keep us from getting to that point. And to be fair to the Koreans, I went back to Seoul in 2006 and was AMAZED at how they have done a 180 and cleaned up their act.

So again, while I generally hate government intrusion and control, the EPA and CARB have had some positive impact on the entire nation. I've lived in a horribly polluted city and am grateful we don't have anything that severe here in the U.S.
 
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StewartinND

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Growing up in the L.A. basin in the 80's through the early 90's and then coming back later the difference was mind blowing. I lived in in S pas and it was a rare day you could actually see the mountains in the 80's. I the early 90's when learning to fly in the afternoon it was really iffy if you could fly not due to bad weather as the sky was clear but due to the smog dropping the visibility to less than 3 miles. Now you can see the mountains clearly every day even with the massive population increase. While I enjoy my 2 pre catalytic cars I would hate to go back to a world where they were in the majority.
 

NYC-TDI

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Hear! Hear! I too remember the 1970's air quality. We are in a far far better situation now. I work on ships. In the 80's, early 90's you would be able to see the air of our port cities dozens, maybe hundreds, of miles before you made actual landfall. Gradually that has cleared up. Compare that with foreign ports in less regulated countries. Just like the good old days the EPA haters, climate deniers, anti-science loons want to return us to.

P.S. US water quality has drastically improved as well.
 
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Rico567

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Some today are now too young to ever have experienced high levels of air pollution here in the U.S. I suggest a trip to friendly Beijing, which we did several years ago. We were there when exiting the country after a three-week vacation, and sitting in their nice new air terminal (built for the Olympics) which had the only safe drinking fountain in the city (also put in for the Olympics), sitting in the departure lounge we could see our 777 at the jetway, but nothing whatsoever beyond that. The sun, which was lowering in the west, was visible only as a dull orange tangerine, without much brightness to it at all.
Had it not been for raising air quality, this is what many of our major urban areas would be like today, or worse.
 

740GLE

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Because only a small number of lower income older folks with emphysema will die just a few weeks / months / years sooner?

How else are we going to save social security and medicare?
 

maybe368

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Ha! Phoenix is ranked with some of the dirtiest air in the nation -- I'm sure they'd enjoy a nice ocean breeze. :)
While that is true, let's look at it a little deeper. A large part of it is our topography, very similar to the LA basin, without the santa Ana winds to help clean it out. That is compounded by a solid line of governing politicos that deny global warning, refuse to pass measures to help clean up the air, that prioritise guns in schools measures over forcing the Four Corners coal fired power plant to install scrubbers and on and on and on...As a Child of the 50's and a life long Phoenix resident, I have seen the air in Phoenix improve dramatically over the years. Global warming has augmented the "heat dome", temperature inversion effect, that tends to keep air pollution and particulates compressed into the ironically named "valley of the sun". We continue to set records for High temperatures and, even worse, record high, low temperatures. So, regardless of what many believe, electing global warming denying politicos will continue this trend in Phoenix, Arizona in general, the rest of the US and the world. When, and I mean when, the western ice shelf of Antarctica slides off into the ocean, we will have our coast in AZ much quicker than anyone can imagine. I suppose that the loss of Miami and New Orleans would make some people happy :rolleyes:...Mark
 
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Jimmy Coconuts

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I honestly wonder how any intelligent person could argue against clean air and water. I'll admit to voting for Trump (it was more a vote against Clinton), but if he seriously wants to get rid of the EPA, he needs to lose that battle in a huge way.
 

durundal

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There’s been many disparaging things said about the EPA, California EPA, and CARB in various threads in this forum, without much in the way of defense.
I was standing with my two sons watching our local Independence Day parade this summer. A big draw of the parade every year is the classic cars. It’s a small parade, and there are maybe two dozen examples representing the span of a century of our automotive history. But what struck me this year was the sweet smell of the pure exhaust, and it brought back memories… and the slightest headache.
I’m a kid of the 1970s, and growing up in Oakland, I remember the hazy brown summertime smog that hung over everything, everywhere. It wasn’t just the cars, it was the smokestacks down by the estuary, and the airplanes trailing black strings of exhaust, the big ships at port and the locomotives and semis that pulled their loads out of town.
I remember talk of acid rain, of the Statue of Liberty being rebuilt from the inside out partly in response to the damage caused by it, of stone monuments and graveyard markers whose details were etched away, and news stories of dead forests, fish, and lakes.
When I began flying small planes in the early 90s, the smog was still prevalent, and a hindrance to navigation (and those rag tag old Cessnas I was flying were definitely contributing to the problem). I was also becoming socially aware of the prevalence of asthma, heart disease and lead poisoning among residents in close proximity to primary transit corridors, in the direct path of fallout from soot spewing big rigs – an unfortunate consequence of being in the wrong economic strata.
I just read an article this weekend describing new theories about the cause of the Great London Smog of 1954, that killed anywhere from 3,000 to 12,000 residents prematurely (in 1954!!!), and parallels to modern day filthy air quality in China’s big cities. But it’s a reminder of how far we (locally) have come in my 40+ years.
Our air quality is a clear as ever. Ships at the port shut down and are connected to new shore power connections. A soot spewing big rig actually stands out now on the freeway, because the others operate so cleanly – some due to new, strict mandates at the port, where they can idle for hours. Standing on the side of a busy, traffic clogged thoroughfare isn’t necessarily pleasant, but it’s also not noxious. Modern airplane engines are vastly cleaner (and quieter) than old, and it’s readily apparent to the eyes, ears, and nose whenever a 727 or early generation biz jet launches. Airlines are even replacing their beastly pushback tugs with emissions-free battery powered units. Acid rain? I don’t know… I definitely don’t hear about it like I used to.
How much NOx is too much? I don’t have the expertise to make that defense. The current gen dieselgate TDIs are cleaner than the (still legal) generation before them (such as our ’06 Jetta). But clearly, the new, tight NOx standards are achievable by others, so why defend VW and give them a pass? For convenience? For affordability? Because only a small number of lower income older folks with emphysema will die just a few weeks / months / years sooner? I mean, yeah, leaving the dieselgate TDIs on the road probably would have just been the smallest drop in the NOx bucket. But this court decision sure did send a crystal clear message that traveled around the world.
Is it expensive to run an industrialized society cleanly? Yep. But it’s expensive to cause people to get sick an die young, too.
So it seemed fitting at that Independence Day parade this past summer, bringing up the end of the parade of exhaust-spewing cars, were the current generation of electrics that so many of the young kids oohed and aahed over (though maybe because of their flapping gull wing doors), and as they passed, the course marshals stood back, and for a short time, the cars were gone and the streets were open to the people.
So thanks EPA, Cal EPA and CARB. I think you’ve done some good.
Thanks for the thoughtful post.
 

Yankinwaoz

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As a native SoCal boy, I've noticed the difference in the last 40 years. It is dramatic.

Growing up, and well in to my 30s (1990's), you never saw the mountains except after a rain storm. Down in OC, it was a rare day you could see Saddleback. Up in LA, you never saw Mt Wilson or Mt. Baldy.

My job in the late 1980s often took me out to the Inland Empire. It was horrible there. Driving through San Bernardino on any day and you couldn't even see the foothills for the smog. Visibility was about half a mile. If you drove up to The Rim Of The World (near Big Bear/Arrowhead) and look down on the valley it was gross. Just a dark brown soup of smoke.

I would also have to frequently fly over to Phoenix. Flying in you could see how bad that valley was. Like it, it was always socked in with a gross brown cloud.

Today when I drive around I am thrilled to be able to see all mountains. I love that I can see the San Gabriel Mountains from Irvine, something that was unimaginable when I was growing up. I can see San Jacinto Peak on most days from Los Angeles. Wow! Most of us growing up around here even knew that peak was there. We never saw it.
 

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tadawson

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I honestly wonder how any intelligent person could argue against clean air and water. I'll admit to voting for Trump (it was more a vote against Clinton), but if he seriously wants to get rid of the EPA, he needs to lose that battle in a huge way.
It comes down to the concept of 'reasonable regulation' which seems to elude a lot if the extremists. More of something good is not necessarily 'more gooderer' (better) and this is a classic. The previous set of regs have things in very good shape (and frankly, even with no changes other than time and continued attrition of older vehicles, things would likely continue to improve), there is a point when excessive regulation produces minimal to zero gain, but rather becomes destructive in many other ways. The cleanest country in the world with zero industry, zero jobs, zero technological base is still utter failure! There *MUST* be a balance so that those who would overregulate everything don't utterly destroy us! While I feel that globalism really is something to avoid (we have nothing to gain, and a lot to lose) a level field of reasonable regulation would provide overall good, not kill industries, and take one of the reasons that companies fleenthe US off the table. Barring that, tariffs on products coming from the worst countries make sense - the US wins, since companies will stay, and at the same time, the other countries have motivation to get it together. Myself, if we rolled back to where the regs were 10 years ago, I'd be happy . . . and anyone who wants better is free to move to whereever they like, also reducing the concentrations in the urban cesspools.

But no, to the nuts, they can't comprehend this and make bleating noises that indicate that they think that non-excessive regulation means none . . . and that is right up there with Unicorns and other delusional fantasies.

Oh, and on the warming/cooling/change/bleat of the day, there were recently over 30,000 scientists that challenged that conclusion. That, folks, is a clear indication that at the very least the jury is still out on that issue, no matter what spin the fanatics put on the issue. When a scientist who sees research disproving the theory (and who is not on someones payroll) can be shown evidence that changes thier view, then *that* is far more convincing than the paid shills that make a lot of noise and offer very little verified proof . . .
 

fucanay

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I am also a Bay Area lifer. While it certainly is better, I really wish they'd get a handle on the airports. The cleanest air I've ever seen in the Bay Area is right after 9/11 when all of the airplanes were grounded. With 3 international airports, that is the major source of air pollution remaining here.
 

maybe368

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It comes down to the concept of 'reasonable regulation' which seems to elude a lot if the extremists. More of something good is not necessarily 'more gooderer' (better) and this is a classic. The previous set of regs have things in very good shape (and frankly, even with no changes other than time and continued attrition of older vehicles, things would likely continue to improve), there is a point when excessive regulation produces minimal to zero gain, but rather becomes destructive in many other ways. The cleanest country in the world with zero industry, zero jobs, zero technological base is still utter failure! There *MUST* be a balance so that those who would overregulate everything don't utterly destroy us! While I feel that globalism really is something to avoid (we have nothing to gain, and a lot to lose) a level field of reasonable regulation would provide overall good, not kill industries, and take one of the reasons that companies fleenthe US off the table. Barring that, tariffs on products coming from the worst countries make sense - the US wins, since companies will stay, and at the same time, the other countries have motivation to get it together. Myself, if we rolled back to where the regs were 10 years ago, I'd be happy . . . and anyone who wants better is free to move to whereever they like, also reducing the concentrations in the urban cesspools.

But no, to the nuts, they can't comprehend this and make bleating noises that indicate that they think that non-excessive regulation means none . . . and that is right up there with Unicorns and other delusional fantasies.

Oh, and on the warming/cooling/change/bleat of the day, there were recently over 30,000 scientists that challenged that conclusion. That, folks, is a clear indication that at the very least the jury is still out on that issue, no matter what spin the fanatics put on the issue. When a scientist who sees research disproving the theory (and who is not on someones payroll) can be shown evidence that changes thier view, then *that* is far more convincing than the paid shills that make a lot of noise and offer very little verified proof . . .
Maybe you should stop getting your news from Brietbart :rolleyes:. Care to link a source for that "news"?...Mark
 
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Salsaman06

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I honestly wonder how any intelligent person could argue against clean air and water. I'll admit to voting for Trump (it was more a vote against Clinton), but if he seriously wants to get rid of the EPA, he needs to lose that battle in a huge way.
I doubt there is any serious intention of doing away with the EPA. Probably gonna be some serious house cleaning of personnel to drastically reduce the political cancer that seems to have invaded many government agencies down in the bowels where it does not belong.
 

forrest resto`s

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Maybe you should stop getting your news from Brietbart :rolleyes:. Care to link a source for that "news"?...Mark
s there a problem with Breitbart??:rolleyes: Listen to it every morning..every day NOT CNN( clinton news network):rolleyes:
 
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BuyMeBackSoon

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It comes down to the concept of 'reasonable regulation' which seems to elude a lot if the extremists. More of something good is not necessarily 'more gooderer' (better) and this is a classic. The previous set of regs have things in very good shape (and frankly, even with no changes other than time and continued attrition of older vehicles, things would likely continue to improve), there is a point when excessive regulation produces minimal to zero gain, but rather becomes destructive in many other ways. The cleanest country in the world with zero industry, zero jobs, zero technological base is still utter failure! There *MUST* be a balance so that those who would overregulate everything don't utterly destroy us! While I feel that globalism really is something to avoid (we have nothing to gain, and a lot to lose) a level field of reasonable regulation would provide overall good, not kill industries, and take one of the reasons that companies fleenthe US off the table. Barring that, tariffs on products coming from the worst countries make sense - the US wins, since companies will stay, and at the same time, the other countries have motivation to get it together. Myself, if we rolled back to where the regs were 10 years ago, I'd be happy . . . and anyone who wants better is free to move to whereever they like, also reducing the concentrations in the urban cesspools.

But no, to the nuts, they can't comprehend this and make bleating noises that indicate that they think that non-excessive regulation means none . . . and that is right up there with Unicorns and other delusional fantasies.



Oh, and on the warming/cooling/change/bleat of the day, there were recently over 30,000 scientists that challenged that conclusion. That, folks, is a clear indication that at the very least the jury is still out on that issue, no matter what spin the fanatics put on the issue. When a scientist who sees research disproving the theory (and who is not on someones payroll) can be shown evidence that changes thier view, then *that* is far more convincing than the paid shills that make a lot of noise and offer very little verified proof . . .
How did you determine what is excessive regulations?
Why ten years back? What makes that date in history the breakpoint for good clean cars and no loss of jobs?
 

forrest resto`s

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Yes.. just my opinion... way too much carb and epa regulations..job killing and it's all about the dollar...it is almost at the point where manufacturers just can't make a descent car anymore...
 

durundal

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Maybe you should stop getting your news from Brietbart :rolleyes:. Care to link a source for that "news"?...Mark
+1, cite your sources. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
 

scooperhsd

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I'll concede there WAS (note the emphasis - WAS ) a time when what EPA and CARB did what was good and necessary. I say this even though I have never lived where I could "see what I breathe".( Heck I've hardly drove through any area like that)...

However - concerning automotive pollution - I think we have gone past the point of no return - especially regarding light duty automotive diesels.
 

kapps

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Ah the path to enlightenment starts by doing your own research instead of letting the news tell you... no matter which side of the story they tell :cool:

Not sure how many of you drive with your windows down often but I'm very surprised how many cars on the road have a stink coming from their tail pipe. Don't even get me started on the diesel Fords and Dodges around here spewing tons of black smoke. Guess that's what happens when it's law but you don't have inspections...
 
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